The emergence of the Internet of Things in Smart Cities questions how the future citizens will perceive their predominant living and working environments and what quality of living they can experience within it, for instance the level of everyday stress. However, perception and experienced stress levels are challenging metrics to measure and are even more challenging to correlate with an underlying causal-effectual relationship in such stimulus abundant environments. The Internet of Things, enabled by several pervasive and ubiquitous devices such as smart phones and smart sensors, can provide real-time contextual information that can be used by advanced data science methodologies to generate new insights about urban qualities in Smart Cities and how they can be improved. The goal of this study is to show the predominant factors, which influence perceptual qualities of inhabitants in a Smart City equipped with sensing capabilities by the Internet of Things. To serve this goal, a novel data collection process for Smart Cities is introduced that involves (i) environmental data, such noise, dust, illuminance, temperature, relative humidity, (ii) location/mobility data, such as GNSS and citizens density detected via WiFi, and (iii) perceptual social data collected by citizens’ responses in smart phones. These fine-grained real-time data can provide invaluable insights about the spatial correlations of the sensor measurements as well as the spatial and citizens’ similarity illustrated. The data analysis illustrated reveals significant links between stress level and environmental changes observed.
Smart Cities evolve into complex and pervasive urban environments with a citizens’ mandate to meet sustainable development goals. Repositioning democratic values of citizens’ choices in these complex ecosystems has turned out to be imperative in an era of social media filter bubbles, fake news and opportunities for manipulating electoral results with such means. This paper introduces a new paradigm of augmented democracy that promises citizens who actively engage in a more informed decision-making integrated to public urban space. The proposed concept is inspired by a digital revive of the Ancient Agora of Greece, an arena of public discourse, a Polis where citizens assemble to actively deliberate and collectively decide about public matters. At the core of the proposed paradigm lies the concept of proving witness presence that makes decision-making subject of providing secure evidence and testifying for choices made in the physical space. This paper shows how proofs of witness presence can be made using blockchain consensus. It also shows how complex crowd-sensing decision-making processes can be designed with the Smart Agora platform and how real-time collective measurements can be performed in a fully decentralized and privacy-preserving way. An experimental testnet scenario on sustainable use of transport means is illustrated along with a use case on crowd-sensing cycling safety that validates evidence by the wisdom of the crowd using official data from public authorities. The paramount role of dynamic consensus, self-governance and ethically aligned artificial intelligence in the augmented democracy paradigm is outlined..